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tim prasil

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Posts: 6 Member Since: 09/17/13

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Sep 17 13 6:11 PM

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Vera Van Slyke (1868-1941) was a crusading newspaper reporter, a professional sister of Nelly Bly and Ida Tarbell. Vera's specialty was sneaking into séances and pulling the sheets off of any fake spirits who arose there.  Oddly, Vera also hunted ghosts.  Real ghosts.  How did she reconcile her conviction that ghosts exist with her stance that psychic mediums are a bunch of hooey?  “Ghosts are like cats,” Vera explained. “They’re quite real, but they hardly come when you call them!”

It wasn’t until December of 1899 that the real secret to ghost-hunting revealed itself. Vera and her assistant, Lida Parsell, investigated a haunted confessional in a Catholic church.  They came to the realization that intense guilt – such as one might find hanging in a confessional – rips holes between the physical and spirit dimensions.  Only then can ghosts appear.  That’s when things got weird.  That’s when Vera and Lida began to learn just how far the spirit realm reaches. Vanity might convince us that only human beings have eternal spirits.  But that’s a dangerous mistake.

Set in the early 1900s, my Help for the Haunted: 13 Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries collection begins with ghosts and poltergeists – but Vera and Lida increasingly confront new types of otherworldly entities.  The one constant binding them together is the emotion of guilt, since pronounced guilt is what shoves open the dimensional doorway. In a sense, then, these stories explore of psychological echoes of immoral behavior.

And who isn’t haunted in one way or another?  We learn about Lida’s dark past right away.  She was a phony spiritualist medium, taking advantage of those aching for assurance that their loved ones survived death.  This is how she and Vera met.

Vera has a secret, too.  A secret that festers but remains hidden.

Lida seems to tolerate not knowing what haunts Vera, utterly distracted by her quirks.  Vera adores lunch, for instance — and has a taste for beer.  She has a parade of oddly creative sayings.  And, of course, there is Vera’s surprising ability to unravel supernatural and psychological mysteries.

I have been offering one Vera Van Slyke chronicle per month on my blog: http://timprasil.wordpress.com/.  They’re free, and they’re in your choice of .pdf, .epub, or .mobi formats.  Visit me for a full thirteen months, and you'll deserve the complete collection of Vera’s first decade of cases.

It just might make you want to buy the novel when it becomes available.

Last Edited By: tim prasil Sep 27 13 7:48 PM. Edited 2 times

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tim prasil

rookie

Posts: 6 Member Since:09/17/13

#2 [url]

Sep 19 13 2:36 PM

Thanks, Miles!  May I quote you?

I'll be tinkering with how I promote the Vera tales in the near future.  Instead of simply posting a new story each month, I'm going to permanently offer the first three stories -- which establish the Vera 'verse -- and rotate the remaining stories on a monthly basis.

One will still have to earn getting the whole series for free, but I'm hoping this will help me better generate interest in the anthology once it's complete (and, ahem, once it's for sale).

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miles

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Posts: 153 Member Since:01/22/10

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Sep 20 13 7:26 PM

Please do!

That sounds like a good plan, and please post updates here as well as Facebook. Definitely let us know when the collection goes on sale!

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tim prasil

rookie

Posts: 6 Member Since:09/17/13

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Sep 28 13 8:48 PM

The latest Vera Van Slyke chronicle, "Vampire Particles," is now available at http://timprasil.wordpress.com/ .

Some of you might recognize a few similarities between this and The Night Stalker, the 1972 made-for-TV movie featuring Darren McGavin as reporter Carl Kolchak. As much as I love me some Kolchak and would love to think of this story as my salute to that character, we simply must remember that Vera Van Slyke conducted her investigation decades before Carl ever enraged Tony Vincenzo.

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